Under the mentoring of Professor Violet Yu, Emily is a research assistant on the sub-project The Impact of Health Challenges on Criminal Recidivism among Male Returning Prisoners . She interviews research subjects during their incarceration at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility and after their prison release. Emily also participates in the creation and maintenance of the databases for this study. In 2011, she co-presented a paper title, “Health challenges of returning prisoners in New York City and criminal involvement” at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Washington, DC.
The Health and Offender Reentry Panel at the 2011 meeting of the American Public Health Association (October 31; Washington, DC)
In the APHA conference there were three presentations conducted by Sung-suk Violet Yu and Homer D. Venters. Yu’s presentation titled The Impact of Health Challenges on Criminal Recidivism among Male Returning Prisoners, focused on the health challenges of returning prisoners into the New York area. In this presentation there was a major discrepancy on how the prisoners expressed themselves in relation to medical services. When asked on “Obstacles in Adjusting After Release,” only four percent of the prisoners stated medical challenges however, when asked “Services Needed for Successful Reentry,” fifty-one percent of these prisoners considered that medical services would help them adjust successful into the community. There is a huge gap between these two. It is presumed this is so, as many prisoners once they are released know where to go to receive certain services such as, Medicare and/or food stamps. Thus, they do not consider medical services as a challenge.
Venters’ first presentation titled Diversion of Patients from Court Ordered Mental Health Treatment to Immigration Detention, focused on how ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) interferes with the mental care and/or
treatment of immigrant detainees. Many immigrants, who are detained, suffer from some type of mental illness as a result, the court orders these individuals to attend an inpatient mental care. Unfortunately, these individuals do not receive these services but rather are deported back to their homeland by ICE. Venters recommends that all immigrant detainees including those with misdemeanor charges are allowed to go into court-ordered care. His second presentation titled Medical Case Management in Jail Mental Health Units, focused on the relationship
between mental illness and co-morbidity levels among prisoners. Individuals with mental illness have high levels of co-morbidities. This analysis was obtained through a pilot program that was conducted by Venters and was performed by the help of the nurse case manager, Nancy Arias, who oversaw seriously mentally ill prisoners and how their mental treatment impacted their physical and/or medical health. Prior to this pilot program, medical and mental health care services rarely communicated with one another about a patient’s care.
Diaz, E., & Saul, S. (Forthcoming). Challenges to successful reentry: In their own words. The 2012 Biennial John Jay College International Conference, June 6-9, New York, NY.